Cannes Film Festival: Red Carpet Recap

Jane Birkin combines her beaded dress with a basket. Madonna in a Jean-Paul Gaultier cone bra and garter set. Kristen Stewart barefoot in Chanel chainmail. Spike Lee in a sunset-inspired suit.

The Cannes Film Festival, with its sheer preponderance of red carpets and boardwalk photo ops, its blockbusters and art house flicks, has given the world more indelible fashion moments than any other festival. In 2002, Sharon Stone made so many dramatic red carpet appearances as a jury member at Cannes that she managed to revive her flagging career through the power of clothing alone.

This year the festival will take place on the French Riviera from May 14th to 25th. It got off to a glamorous start – and some participants threw down the fashion gauntlet before the official opening ceremony on Tuesday evening.

Actress Anya Taylor-Joy, who came to Cannes to promote “Furiosa,” the latest “Mad Max” film, caused a stir on Monday when she wore a Jacquemus straw hat so large that it also served as a portable parasol. Filmmaker Greta Gerwig, whose job as president of the festival's competition jury is to pack outfits for 10 days, stopped by for a photo shoot on Tuesday morning wearing a very current blue-and-white striped milkmaid dress with an hourglass effect from Maison Margiela's couture collection.

In fact, what makes the Cannes Film Festival such an irresistible feast for the eyes is the fact that it's not just a parade of sumptuous evening gowns and tuxedos, but also a selection of accessible, sunny style.

The fashion show actually kicked off with the opening ceremony, which was attended by stars such as Léa Seydoux, Jane Fonda, Lily Gladstone and Meryl Streep, who was honored with the Palme d'Or for her life's work. As fashion editor Miranda Priestly in “The Devil Wears Prada,” Ms. Streep gave the world a description of the trickle-down fashion effect that remains unsurpassed. Today the Côte d'Azur, tomorrow your wardrobe? It's not as far-fetched as it sounds.

Anna Harden

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